Waters of Life

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JOHN - The Light Shines in the Darkness
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to John
PART 2 - Light Shines in the Darkness (John 5:1 - 11:54)
B - Jesus is the Bread of Life (John 6:1-71)

4. Jesus offers people the choice, "Accept or Reject!" (John 6:22-59)

JOHN 6:51
51 I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

Have you ever seen bread moving or talking? Jesus calls himself the Bread of Life, the living bread – he speaks not of material bread from heaven, but spiritual and divine food. He does not mean us to eat his flesh literally; we are not man-eaters.

Soon Jesus began to speak of his death. It was not his spirituality that redeemed mankind, but his incarnation. He became man to give himself for our sin. His hearers were offended; he seemed an ordinary man, from a modest family. Had an angel appeared from heaven, they would have received him with applause. Jesus explained that his glory and spirit would not redeem them, but his body which would be laid down for the sake of humanity would.

JOHN 6:52-56
52 The Jews therefore contended with one another, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 Jesus therefore said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don’t have life in yourselves. 54 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I in him.

Among the Jews there were believers and rejecters of Jesus. The two groups argued violently. The enemies of Jesus were disgusted at the thought of eating his flesh and drinking his blood. Jesus precipitated the split between the two parties to bring out those who trusted him. He tested the love of the first group and showed up the blindness of the others. He did say, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you do not have eternal life. Unless you participate in my being, you will abide in death and sin forever." These words rang in their ears and sounded like blasphemy. As if the man Jesus was daring them, "Kill and eat me, for in my self I am a miracle. My body is bread, the divine life offered you." Their blood boiled and they were furious. However, those who trusted in him responded, drawn by the Holy Spirit, believing the incredible, relying on Jesus to find a way of making good his words. Had they thought a little, at the Passover, they would have realized that John the Baptist had called Jesus, the Lamb of God: All Jews took part in the Passover, eating the flesh of lambs slain on that occasion. This was to ward off the wrath of God by identifying with the sacrifices. Jesus pointed out that he was the true Lamb of God who bears the sin of the world.

Nowadays we know that the symbols of the Lord’s Supper signify that Christ’s flesh is absorbed by us, and his blood purifies us from sin. We thank him for this grace. The Galileans at that stage did not know this mystery and his words were dumbfounding their minds. Jesus was testing their faith, but their obstinacy soon appeared in a fiery outburst.

We worship Christ in joy and thanksgiving for he has explained the Lord’s Supper to us in symbols, and how he comes in us by his Spirit. Without his sacrifice we cannot approach God or abide in Him. The perfect forgiveness of our sins lets us merit his coming into us. Faith in him brings about this miracle and makes us sharers in his glorious resurrection. We worship the Lamb for redeeming us. Jesus is not content to die for us on the cross, but desires to fill us, and so we become saints living forever.

JOHN 6:57-59
57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father; so he who feeds on me, he will also live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven - not as our fathers ate the manna, and died. He who eats this bread will live forever.” 59 He said these things in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

Christ tells us of the life in the mighty God who is the living Father. He is from eternity to eternity the Father of all love. Christ lives in the Father and does not exist for his own sake but for the Father. His life finds meaning not by satisfying his own ambitions, but by total obedience to his Father, who has begotten him. The Son serves the Father, while the Father loves the Son and works in His fullness through the Son.

Jesus revealed the mystery of his union with the Father before the raging opposition. He gave them a lofty revelation, "As I live for the Father and in Him, so I wish to live for your sakes and in you. In order that you may live for me and in me." Dear brother, are you ready for this intimate bond with Christ? Will you accept him with all the aims and energies of your being or will you not? Do you wish to die to self, so that the Lord may live in you?

Christ did not come with practical reforms, nor does he send us wealth to help ourselves. He does not plan rural developments. No! he changes hearts so that men may live godly lives for ever. He offered believers a share in his divinity. Thus he creates a new undying man, one who lives, loves and serves. His aim is God.

Revise chapter six, and count the times in which Christ utters three words, "Father", "Life" and "Resurrection" as well as their derivatives. You will quickly grasp the gist of John’s gospel. The believer in Christ lives in the Father’s Spirit, moving towards resurrection in glory.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you for coming to us, and granting us the Father’s life with the fullness of joy. Pardon our sins and sanctify us, so that we may serve thee patiently and lovingly, and follow thee meekly, and not live for ourselves.


  1. Why did Jesus say to his hearers that they had to eat his body and drink his blood?


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